Trying to decipher an ingredients list or figure out which personal care products are safe can be overwhelming. But as the author of Healthy Beauty points out, “conventional cosmetics and personal-care products contain many frank and hidden carcinogens, making them the most important and still unrecognized class of avoidable carcinogen exposure for the overwhelming majority of consumers in major industrialized nations.” In his book, Samuel Epstein arms you with the knowledge to avoid those toxic ingredients and find safer products, including everything from toothpaste and deodorant to nail polish and anti-aging cream.
We are giving away a copy of Healthy Beauty: Your Guide to Ingredients to Avoid and Products You Can Trust by Samuel S. Epstein, MD with Randall Fitzgerald. Check out this excerpt and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the book!
Four Deadly but Avoidable Killers
The details in this book are a lot to remember, especially when they involve so many long, unfamiliar chemical names. But if you only avoid four ingredients or categories of ingredients described in this book, make it these four: talc, powdered titanium dioxide, sunscreens, and certain dark hair dyes.
Talc, or talcum powder, has been strongly linked to ovarian cancer, which has become the fourth most common fatal cancer in women (after breast, colon, and lung). Yet one out of five premenopausal women continues to use it as a dusting powder or on tampons.
Titanium dioxide powder, which often appears as a whitening agent in women’s cosmetics powders, has been shown in rodent testing to be a source of respiratory tract cancer if inhaled. Numerous studies have demonstrated this effect, yet its use remains widespread, even in products otherwise billing themselves as safe and natural.
Sunscreens, either alone or used in cosmetics or lotions, give users an illusion of safety that encourages them to stay out in the sun longer, exposing them to greater amounts of dangerous long-wave ultraviolet radiation. Sunscreens also contain chemicals linked in laboratory experiments to hormone disruption.
Hair dyes, specifically black and dark brown permanent and semi-permanent dyes, contain many frank and hidden carcinogens. Frequent and prolonged use of these dyes has been linked to leukemia, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and bladder and breast cancers. While the European Union has banned many hair dye ingredients, United States manufacturers and regulatory agencies remain stubbornly blind to the dangers.
Excerpted from Healthy Beauty: Your Guide to Ingredients to Avoid and Products You Can Trust by Samuel S. Epstein, MD with Randall Fitzgerald. Published by BenBella Books, Inc.
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